And while we’re on The Airing Of Grievances here today, I’ve got a beef this morning that CNN’s David Gergen seems almost disappointed that the President’s prospects for re-election have improved this year as the GOP has dropped the ball again and again.
Even though House Republicans are now wisely folding their tents, their disarray this week over extending a payroll tax cut has left a sour taste at year’s end in Washington, contributing in no small part to an even bigger political story: the resurrection of President Obama and his fellow Democrats heading toward the 2012 elections.
After the debt ceiling debacle of last summer, the conventional wisdom among many political analysts was that Obama would go the way of President Jimmy Carter, that Republicans would lose a few seats in the House but retain control, and that the GOP would surge into power in the Senate. In short, Republicans were looking for a clean sweep.
Who believes that now? Obama is still highly vulnerable and could lose, but the CNN poll coming out of the field this week reveals a remarkable turnaround, especially in the past month.
Gergen then goes on to completely misread the why of the situation as well, seemingly dumbfounded as to why Elizabeth Warren is looking very good against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, wondering aloud why Jeb Bush isn’t running, and still refusing to give the President any credit for the (extremely modest) economic improvement.
In other words, he’s one miffed Republican, our David. But that’s okay, he does arrive at the correct conclusion through the tortured logic:
Even so, we are witnessing an important change in the political landscape — and it could be lasting. Republicans well remember the mid-1990s when they seized power in Congress and Speaker Newt Gingrich went mano-a-mano with President Bill Clinton. For a while, Gingrich had the upper hand, but Clinton then outmaneuvered him on two governmental shutdowns — and when the momentum turned in Clinton’s favor, he rode it to an easy re-election. No one should doubt that could happen again.
Ironically, it’s Newt himself providing that same impetus. Now that we’re seeing the bottom of the GOP candidate barrel and Orange Julius’s true colors, it’s the Republicans who have been exposed for what they are, and what they can’t do for the country.
No mention of the other big political movement in the last six months either: Occupy Wall Street. Pretty silly stuff here, even from a Villager like Gergen.